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Veterinary Assistant

Job Description

Responsible for daily care of all surgical patients. Assist doctors and technicians with surgical and anesthetic procedures and general housekeeping.

General Responsibilities

  1. Perform daily cleaning of kennels, cages and public areas when necessary.
  2. Stock prep room and operating room.
  3. Spot clean throughout the day.
  4. Clean prep room and operating room at the end of the day.
  5. Wash and sterilize all surgical packs and drapes throughout the day.
  6. Represent TCAP in a professional and courteous manner at all times. Provide quality service to clients, volunteers, and staff, recognizing their individual contributions to the success of our organization.
  7. Other duties as assigned.

Patient Care Needs

  1. Triage all patients as they are checked in. Report health concerns to veterinary technician or attending veterinarian.
  2. Restrain all patients during anesthesia induction and intubation.
  3. Monitor all patients on gas anesthesia.
  4. Prepare patients for surgery as instructed.
  5. Transport patients from prep room to operating room.
  6. Assist veterinarians in surgery as needed.
  7. Keep supervisor informed of animal behavior, health, or concerns.
  8. Assist clients with necessary paperwork.
  9. Monitor patients in recovery.
  10. Assist transport driver with handling and unloading transport animals.
  11. Administer animal vaccinations, tests, medications and treatments as directed.
  12. Provide excellent patient care.
  13. Feed, water and clean cat boxes of clinic cats.
  14. Other duties as assigned.

Other Responsibilities

  1. Call owners for early pickup of surgery clients.
  2. Perform reminder calls as requested by Office Manager for the next surgery day.


Client Education

  1. Must be able to learn basic veterinary medical concepts including, but not limited to, vaccine protocols and anesthetic risks
  2. Must also be able to communicate basic veterinary concepts to owners and be able to repeat information relayed by a veterinarian
  3. Will be asked to take medical histories for surgical rechecks
  4. Will be asked to communicate with the public on a daily basis in a professional manner

Animal Handling

  1. Will be asked to handle (on average) 100 dogs and cats per day
  2. Must be able to learn characteristics of animal behavior (for example: be able to identify aggressive or fearful behavior)
  3. Must be able to use appropriate safety equipment for fractious or feral animals– the use of safety equipment is mandatory
  4. Must possess excellent reflexes
  5. Should be able to identify own limitations and be willing to ask for help
  6. Must become proficient at animal restraint for various procedures

Physical Requirements

  1. Must be able to work standing or sitting for 8 or more hours
  2. Must be able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds repeatedly throughout the day with help
  3. Must be able to bend and kneel repeatedly
  4. Must be able to see fine detail in a variety of situations
  5. Must have good hearing including ability to distinguish changes in pitch
  6. Must have reasonable degree of agility to move through tightly cramped areas in various situations
  7. Must have acceptable sense of touch and smell
  8. Must have good range of motion in joints especially wrist, knees, elbows and back
  9. Must be able to work in potentially extreme environmental temperatures
  10. Must have acceptable sense of balance
  11. Must be able to work and reach on hands and knees
  12. Must be able to use a ladder and/or step stool
  13. Must possess excellent hand-eye coordination
  14. May be asked to move large oxygen tanks
  15. Must possess an acceptable degree of dexterity in hands and fingers
  16. Must have good vision including peripheral vision, fine detail, distance, depth perception and ability to focus

Emotional/Mental Requirements

  1. Must be able to work efficiently and effectively under stressful conditions
  2. Must be able to respond quickly to a variety of medical situations (with training)
  3. Must be able to cope with death either due to surgical complication or euthanasia
  4. Must be able to rapidly and accurately process information
  5. Must be able to delegate tasks
  6. Must be able to recognize a need for assistance and ask for help
  7. Must be able to control instinct (for example: while restraining it is most often required to tighten grip and NOT release the animal when they begin to struggle)
  8. Must be able to make decisions
  9. Must be able to cope with frustrating situations and remain calm
  10. Must be able to work constructively within a team and not gossip

Potential and Prolonged Exposures

  1. Prolonged exposure to various aqueous solutions including, but not limited to, dish soap, chlorhexidine and spectra soap
  2. Prolonged exposure to hydrogen peroxide
  3. Potential/Prolonged exposure to isoflurane gas
  4. rolonged exposure to quartenary ammonium cleaners and bleach
  5. Prolonged exposure to pressurized steam
  6. Potential exposure to sharps including needles and surgical blades
  7. Exposure to animal (dog/cat) dander and other allegerns

Veterinary Assistant List of Job Duties

Public Intake

  1. Answer questions about vaccines and appropriateness of surgical candidates
  2. Communicate post operative care instructions to owners at pick up (may be in the form of public speaking)
  3. Understand and explain risks of several types of patients under anesthesia
  4. Understand and explain risks of surgery for patients who have eaten the morning of surgery
  5. Restrain animals for veterinarian or technician for presurgical medications


  1. Properly restrain animal for induction and intubation (note: all employees will wear gloves during prep or at any time there is a risk of exposure to urine)
  2. Prepare animal for surgery by shaving, vacuuming, expressing bladder, scrubbing surgical area
  3. Sterilely transport animal into surgery
  4. Bladder expression and basic palpation
  5. Set up animal for surgery including hooking endotracheal tube to anesthesia machine, setting appropriate sized bag
  6. Sterilely open surgical pack and maintain sterile fields
  7. Monitor recovery of numerous animals (may be up to twenty or more at a time)
  8. Monitor patients while under anesthesia
  9. Maintain stock within the operating room
  10. Remove patients from surgery table
  11. Transport patient back to appropriate kennel after recovered
  12. Administer various drugs IV, IM or SC
  13. Set up and administer fluids either IV or SC
  14. Gloved-in surgical assistance may be required


  1. Clean and sonicate instruments
  2. Assemble and sterilize surgical packs
  3. Clean endotracheal tubes and sort into baskets
  4. Ensure integrity of pack wraps and towels used within surgical packs


  1. Induce and intubate animals with appropriate timing to limit time under anesthesia
  2. Delegate and assign tasks throughout the day
  3. Must possess the ability to formulate a plan for the entire day

Kennel Maintenance

  1. Clean and disinfect kennels and transport carriers
  2. Load cats and dogs into appropriate carriers
  3. Clean and disinfect kennel dishes
  4. Wash, dry and fold laundry
  5. Sweep and mop front lobby and bathrooms and empty all clinic trash
  6. Alphabetize paperwork

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